Sunday, October 25, 2015

Video: Historic Starr Mill And Russell Manufacturing by Bill Maune

Posted with permission from videographer Bill Maune, check out more of Bill's video's from around Middletown on Middletown CT Patch here & Vimeo!

starr from Bill Maune on Vimeo.

Nathan Starr, Sr., a scythe manufacturer, purchased land on the West (now Coginchaug) River in Staddle Hill in 1799. Joined by his son, Nathan Jr. in 1812, Starr began the first of a long series of government contracts to produce swords, pistols, and eventually rifles. They constructed a factory here in 1812, which is probably the easternmost building sited by the pond. During this period some 70,000 arms of varied kinds were made here, as well as a number of commemorative swords for national heroes, such as Andrew Jackson.
The Russell Manufacturing Company bought the property; in 1865 they erected the building immediately to the west of the original plant in a similar height, scale, material, and style. This was an auxiliary operation, complementing the main South Farms factories; Russell conducted manufacturing here for some ninety years. A plumbing products firm and then a lighting fixture company ran short-lived manufacturing operations here; the facilities were vacant in the late 1960s. Joseph J. Vinci bought the property in 1971. Several small businesses currently operate here, including a cabinetmaker, garment shop and welding outfit. 

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